How to deal with random paperwork/admin that is everywhere I look!!

(12 Posts)
Jemster Mon 30-Dec-13 10:23:27

I have bits and pieces of paperwork all over the place and really want to sort it as it's a mess and I can't find anything I need.

I am very careful with the post and throw away as much as I can if junk or no longer needed. But there is still stuff lying around mainly:

School letters, i like to keep these as reminders but have nowhere to put them to act as a reminder so just in a pile on table.

Admin to action, school stuff, general post, car tax reminder etc.

Stuff to read - not urgent, just stuff I would like to read if I ever get the chance (unlikely!)

Ds's school work, books, homework, exercise books, activity books - in a pile on table.

Pictures, drawings etc from school and childminder.

I have a small hallway with only room for a shoerack. Kitchen small and already cluttered. Room on wall for family organiser which helps.
Living room, lovely family dining table always covered in paperwork, toys and general crap making it stressful at meal times as have to dump it all somewhere so we can eat.

We do have a filing cabinet which works well but it's all this other stuff I just don't know what to do with!

Any suggestions gratefully received. What do other people do? When I go to friends houses they don't seem to have this problem with stuff everywhere.

DameDeepRedBetty Mon 30-Dec-13 10:26:19

You need to set up a school stuff zone for DS's books. Where does he normally do his homework?

Make sure the dates and times of the events in the school letters are on the calendar. Then file the letters in the filing cabinet just in case you need to refer to any small print.

dizhin79 Mon 30-Dec-13 10:28:04

lever arch files, most important 'to do' stuff at front then filed away as soon as it is dealt with!

Jemster Mon 30-Dec-13 10:32:25

Thanks for replying. Ds is only 6 so does any homework at the main table and so all his books & homework sheets are just left there.
I will set up a file in cabinet for school letters.
The lever arch file is a good idea, will just need to find somewhere to put it!

FreakoidOrganisoid Mon 30-Dec-13 10:36:24

My friend has a box file that everything goes in as soon as it's dealt with so it's not properly filed but everything is in there in month order so is actually pretty easy to find. I've been meaning to adopt this as it would save the piles waiting to be filed.

I try to deal with everything as soon as it comes in- so if something needs paying I do it as soon as I get the letter. If the dc need a permission slip filled in I do it straight away and put it in their bag.

I have a clip magnet on the fridge for school letters so they're easy to access if I need to refer to them (eg I will write school trip on calendar but then think school uniform? Packed lunch?)

School books live in their bags unless they are actually doing the homework.

Pictures usually get filed in the big green box blush. Or really good ones sent to relatives. Sometimes displayed on fridge for a while before going in the recycling.

waterlego Mon 30-Dec-13 10:39:06

Have you anywhere you can put some in-trays? We each have a tray on a sideboard in our kitchen/diner. I put my own letters and school letters into my tray and any bits of paper I come across that belong to OH get put in his tray. The kids' drawings (they produce a great many!) go in their trays and I periodically sit them down to sort through their tray and throw out stuff they don't want anymore.

For kids' artwork that I want to keep, I have several A3 plastic folders (sort of art display folders with plastic pockets in) and they are stored on top of a cupboard. The kids' book bags hang on a hook on the back of the kitchen door.

I hope you can find a tidy solution smile

Elizabeth22 Mon 30-Dec-13 14:14:53

Often you don't need to keep the original piece of paper (if you do then you should file it) and you are just hanging onto it as a physical reminder. So one way to cut down on having pieces of paper floating around is to transcribe the key info into one central notebook and get rid of the original piece of paper.

Some people use a "tickler" file system where you file items into a month (ie when it will be needed). Perhaps google this as I can't remember the exact details of how this system worked! smile I've never used it but some people swear by it.

Showtime Mon 30-Dec-13 15:47:00

Solution is another file, as above, and most efficient storage is probably bookshelves, which come narrow enough for many spaces - a small one in dining area would make a big difference, or think about any books which could be replaced by electronics, leaving room for various files, trays etc.

Mary1972 Mon 30-Dec-13 16:38:59

I am lucky to have a separate office where all paperwork goes with 6 filing cabinet drawers in it for personal documents etc. However the things to be done stay on my desk. I have a pretty tidy desk policy and every single day do every bit of admin as it comes in - pay bills the day of receipt etc. In the kitchen we pin up important school letters and once dates are on the kitchen calendar any school paperwork goes on the school file in the filing cabinet.

So for example a car tax reminder would result in payment of the tax on the day of receipt. If it will not let us as it has come too early then it goes into one in tray which at present has one item in it only.

jerryfudd Mon 30-Dec-13 16:53:03

Instead of keeping all the kids works of art could you not photograph it (label photo with name, date and age) and then save in a an artwork folder on the computer to look back on

Quejica Mon 30-Dec-13 17:24:23

I photograph all school letters so I have a copy on my phone.

FairyTrain Mon 30-Dec-13 21:14:20

Second the photo with phone idea, I do this for loads of things; school letters, party invites, important receipts so I can throw the paper away. Also take a photo of shopping list so at shops just look at picture in phone.
Delete when used so not clogging up phone memory...

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now